Heart Valve. The heart valves serve a function as a check valve. They direct blood flow in one direction and prevent back flow. Malfunction can be two ways: 1. The valve can be narrowed (stenosis) and restrict blood flow. 2. The valve may not close properly and leak (insufficiency).
Yes. The heart is a pump, it is made up of four chambers, there 4 valves in the heart. For the heart to pump effectively, the valves open to allow the blood to move from one compartment into another, then they close to prevent the blood from regurgitating back. They open and close synchronously. A valve malfunctions when it does not open well (becomes tight) or when it does not close well (leaks back).
Yes. The heart is complex. Blood needs to flow in one direction. To keep from mixing and to allow flow in one direction, the valve are in place. They open and close with each beat to achieve this.
Yes. Blood moving through the heart is more effecient if it only moves in one direction. Valves open and allow blood to pass through. Then they close and prevent blood from moving backward from where it came. The aortic and pulmonic valves open in systole (during contraction). The mitral and tricuspid valves open during diastole (when the heart is resting and filling).
Not uncommon. Heart valves can be narrowed (stenosis)or not close properly (incompetent) in which case blood leaks back after each heart beat. It depends on the amount / extent of leak as to how it affects you in the long range. You need to go and see a cardiologist forf further advice and future follow up.